Springtime is artichoke season!
In Europe, a number of types of artichokes are popular, but here the Green Globe is the variety most actively cultivated and generally available. It appears at the supermarket weighing in between 8 and 16 ounces.
Sometimes you can find "baby artichokes" that are baby only in size. These smaller artichokes are fully mature Green Globes that just happened to grow on the lower part of the plant, shaded from the sun. One pound can easily contain 6 to 12 baby artichokes.
The anatomy of an artichoke is unusual. First, there are the tough outer leaves with their prickly pointed tips. At the base of each is a small amount of edible matter to be had by scraping the leaf base gently between your teeth, after you cook it of course. Working your way towards the center, more and more of the leaf can be eaten. When you reach the odd fuzzy growth covered by tiny green leaves you have discovered the choke. This must be cut away so that you can reach the artichoke's prized, meaty, delicious bottom. It's well worth the effort.
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